Sunday, May 18, 2014

A lifetime ago. His.

Oded's name on his tombstone
Twenty three years passed this month since my older brother, Oded, died of a gunshot of his own Beretta gun. A second accident (the first made a hole in a wall and nothing more) or not - the answers disappeared with his last breath which spawned only questions, should-have-beens and might-have-beens. A period of time that was a blur between graduating high-school, having a first girlfriend, starting college and numbness. It was a time of forming barriers and taking other barriers down, of missing a beat, catching a breath and being stumped by the simple question whether I have any brothers or sisters. The great wall of China was being built with not many people who had the key to the gates, and who suffered for it the most. And on that wall, unspoken truths and spray-painted "I am OK". Fairly, at the end of the day, I was. After all, I did finish high-school, got my Electrical Engineering degree, built a family of my own and carried on a normal life altered from how it would be if that day in May 1991 didn't end like it did. A lifetime ago. His lifetime ago.

My brother is now gone for a longer time than he lived. Truly a lifetime ago. Time is but a continuous stretch - day by day, hour by hour, second by second - which continue to pass regardless of occurring events. This meaningless death (not that meaning would help much, but I will not lie, it would a little) was like a fork in the road, a conflict between two universes, one which has Oded in it and the other that doesn't, and I happened to be in the one that doesn't, at random. In one, things are different but similar, with alterations I cannot even think about and some striking similarities that I wouldn't imagine possible either. We face a lot of forks in the road, some subtle and easy and some difficult, yet others involuntary. Accepting reality is what collapses the chatter of the multiverse to the one we're present in.

Like ticks on a ruler, milestones are etched on the infinite scale of time, but unlike those of a ruler, they are more personal, or mean something only to a group of people. As time goes, the scale is zoomed out and the days become months, years and decades. A year passed, two, five, ten, twenty. There's a marker on each waking second, but milestones are pricklier, put importance and gravity on a scale that gets otherwise a much more limited dynamic range, gives perspective, gray hair, wisdom.

I don't want your pity, feeling sorry for me or understanding. Understanding would actually be the worst, as if you truly understand it means you have lost your brother, sister, parent or someone else that is absolutely irreplaceable. I don't wish that on anyone. You've read all the way here, and I hope that you have one less thought of anger or hate towards others and one more thought of appreciation and thankfulness for what you do have.

A lifetime ago Oded's lifetime ran out at the speed of a bullet. Not my lifetime ago, his.

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